HELLO WHATNAUTS HOW ARE YOU
The holidays are upon us, and we are working hard to make sure you have more than enough Wait, What? with which to ring in the new year. So I hope you’ll understand if I move right into the “shownotes” portion of this afternoon’s entertainment so I can hustle on to the next podcast-related project:
00:00-01:47: Greetings from Graeme “Making Tea” McMillan and Jeff “Making Lemonade” Lester who start off by talking about tech problems, and worrying about whether or not we’re going to have them (SPOILERS: we are.)
01:47-38:26: Before we get to the comic book talk, we thought it might be worth doing a bit of comic book media talk first—more specifically, the relatively recent first trailer for Captain America: Civil War, and the very recent new trailer for Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. We discuss, compare, and contrast both. The cameos! The dialogue! The course corrections! What Jeff’s wife lady thought! Head’s up: because BvS:DoJ was fresher in our memory, we discuss that one in far more detail, including intentionality, dream sequences, Stucky and the possibility of cleaner motivation for Cap in the film version of Civil War as opposed to the comic; Jeff’s not especially correct “Rule of Three” for Marvel trailers; and much more.
38:26-1:15:58: And from there we go to the Marvel/Netflix show, Jessica Jones, via the pivot of wondering if the show—which Jeff has seen all of, and Graeme turned off after the first episode—feel like it’s happening in the same place, the same shared universe, as Daredevil and the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Also discussed: Agents of SHIELD; Heroes; Girls; Mike Colter as Luke Cage; Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones; Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple; David Tennant as Killgrave; Veronica Mars; what they could do for Season Two; Jessica’s transition in the comics from main character to supporting character; the appearance of [VILLAIN] that seems certain to appear on Season Two of Daredevil; the cutesy little thing Jeph Loeb does that drives Jeff crazy; the appearance of Ernie and Gus-Gus in apparent defense of Jeph Loeb; Jessica Jones vs. The Flash; the very low standards of viewers of Agents of SHIELD; Jessica Jones vs. Supergirl; the slow development of different tones for superhero shows and movies; and more. (And if you’re interested, there’s a whole bunch of stuff Jeff didn’t get around to saying that he finally does just below this very post.)
1:15:58-1:29:28: “But, yes! Comic books! I would like to discuss those!” Jeff announces, a slight and subtle transition for us to move on to the four-colored side of things (although that phrase really isn’t applicable any more, is it?). First up: The Sheriff of Babylon #1 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, about a military contractor in Baghdad 2003 tasked with training a new Iraqi police force. Jeff utters words he never thought he’d ever say; Graeme admits to reading the first issue multiple times; the phrase “it’s not a perfect comic” utterly multiple times in multiple ways; the movie Green Zone is brought up in a less-than-fond way; and more.
1:29:28-1:35:14: The Vision #2, also by Tom King, with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, also came out this week, so Jeff gets compare and contrast it a bit with The Sheriff of Babylon. Discussed: playing out the string; compelling arguments for trade-waiting; the heyday of Marvel decompression; a mix of Alan Moore and Brian Bendis; the second chapter in a trade versus the second issue of comic; which leads to…
1:35:14-1:42:47: The second issue of Unfollow by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling! Graeme thought that Ravan was an utterly compelling lead for the second issue which turns the book into a ensemble book. Interestingly enough, we do our best to avoid spoiling the climax of the second issue which is a thing we do not usually even try to do. As Graeme points out, this is a sign we really like the book and want to encourage people to read it? Also discussed: the stunning art by Mike Dowling and colors by Quinton Winter; Jeff being more willing to tradewait; Graeme feeling like the second issue takes what we see in the first issue and twists it or challenges versus Jeff feeling eh, not so much; and Jeff’s weird feeling that maybe Unfollow #2 might’ve stood out more if he hadn’t already read The Sheriff of Babylon and This Damned Band #5 by Paul Cornell and Tony Parker.
1:42:47-1:50:26: “Where are you on Batman and Robin Eternal?” asks Graeme, and so the truth comes out: Jeff, Batman fanatic who had read all of Batman Eternal, hasn’t made it past issue #2 of the book yet (although continuing to buy and stockpile issues) while Graeme is completely up-to-date on the series and is still digging it. That said, Graeme has been worrying about the future of Batman and Robin Eternal’s satisfying single driving plot approach after getting and reading Earth Two: World’s End Vol. 2 (issues #12-26 of the weekly series) by Daniel Wilson, Marguerite Wilson, Cullen Bunn and, as is usually the case with weekly books, a veritable infantry of comic book artists; Jeff talks about getting in the weeds for weekly comics, the presence of James Tynion IV on both Batman Forever and Batman and Robin Forever, and its sequel; and more.
1:50:26-2:11:38: In discussing the recent Action Comics and Superman storyline, Graeme brings up a great point about how much depends on his mood when he’s reading. Among the topics discussed: underground fight clubs for mythical creatures; the return of Sand Superman; Robin War #1; mainlining Phonogram, The Wicked & the Divine, and Black Magick; an insightful Secret Convergence post about how podcasts are assembled and the risks of reading too many comics; Spidey #1 by Robbie Thompson and Nick Bradshaw; Spider-Man Chapter One by John Byrne; The Ship of Theseus paradox, as mentioned by both Matt Terl in our DK3 roundtable and Paul O’Connor’s review of Amazing Spider-Man #1 over at his terrific Longbox Graveyard website; and then Graeme starts cutting out in his spirited argument of Ms. Marvel as a great Spider-Man figure but then we do manage to more or less talk about what does make for a great Spider-Man figure and then…
2:11:38-end: Closing comments! Our special thanks to the kind crew at American Ninth Art Studios for their continuing support of this podcast..as well as our special thanks to the Empress Audrey, Queen of the Galaxy…and to all 115 of our supporters on Patreon who make all this possible.
Look for us on Stitcher!Itunes! Twitter together and separately: Graeme and Jeff! Matt! Tumblr! And, of course, where, as of this count, 115 patrons make this whole thing possible!
Next week: Episode 12 of Baxter Building. Read up on issues #95-102 of the Fantastic Four and join us for your monthly dose of semi-historical comic analyses!
Need that link for easy cutting and pasting?
It may have taken Graeme 1 episode to realize he didnt like the lead actor but I managed to get that from the trailers (I think I also saw her in an episode of ‘The B in appartment 23’ or whatever the hell its called).
I also liked the BvS trailer but I think if i was a big Batman and/or Superman fan I would have hated it. Also Eisenberg’s Luthor is like an blend of the Gene Hackman’s Luthor and Heath Ledger’s Joker.
Thanks for the mention and the kind words, guys. Glad to see I’m not the only one a bit puzzled by this most recent Peter Parker transformation (thought I am getting a good amount of grief for it over at my own site).
Interesting note on the Superman mythical fight club: It is thoroughly inspired by and even photo referenced on Hoodslam at the Oakland Metro Operahouse.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “Officer Simpson” from Jessica Jones.
Unlike you guys, I largely loved the series. Kristen Ritter may well be wooden, but I thought it was a valid choice given the character. Also, everyone getting super-powers or seeming superheroic doesn’t phase me much, as we are talking about characters based on Marvel comics after all. I mean, Jennifer Jones in Alias was best friends with Ms. Marvel. It completely makes sense that her stand-in (Trish “I’m going to be Hellcat” Walker) has awesome martial arts skills.
Regardless, one point that I must admit was a sticking point for me was Officer Simpson. Even if I were to accept the ubiquity of powers, the idea that a randomly selected police officer would just happen to be a special ops super soldier stand-in for a secretive NGO stretched even my credulity.
Having said that, when Simpson said, “Give me a red” I did almost audibly squee from the sheer fandom of it.
Regardless, having watched all of it, I agree with Jeff that Nuke was added solely to give a through-line for Season 2. I also believe putting him in may have been a last minute addition to the scripts for that purpose, as it feels very shoe-horned in and not similar to anything else within the series.
It also sticks out like a sore thumb as a plot hole.
In any case, one thing that was interesting was how he reinforced the theme that Jessica must do all of this for herself and any requests for assistance from anyone (except Trish) would result in tragedy.
Curious, though, if you guys will take the plunge and watch Luke Cage, Punisher or Iron Fist, given your experiences with the other Defenders shows.
There was a big gasp in our living room with the “Gimme a red” line as well. The character had a wild arc from the start to the end and I have no problem with it not finishing off in this series. There are two more to go plus Defenders, not everything has to be tied up,
Jessica Jones covers two timely bases. You have the couple who are blaming her for the attack on New York even though she has nothing to do it with it because she’s, “one of them”. The other is Jessica dealing with the living embodiment of the men’s rights movement. A person who leads others into doing what he wants, thinks he’s the victim, takes no blame for any actions and just wants women to smile.
I think it’s one of the best things Marvel Entertainment have done, but then I’m a fan of Agents of SHIELD so what do I know?
We must both be in the same leaky “fans of Agents of SHIELD” boat.
And you’re dead on with the two issues covered. Didn’t even think about the extremism/Islam angle! Makes total sense.
The BvS:DoJ trailer gives me the entire plot so no reason to go and watch it but boy oh boy…first off, Clark Kent is such a stellar journalist he’s attending a red carpet affair and learns of Bruce Wayne’s existence from a service worker at the event and gets shamed by said worker such that worker comments on Clark “being new” for not knowing who Wayne is? Or, maybe, that’s for the benefit of the audience? Same with Lex’s introduction of Wayne and Kent meeting for the first time…blech.
Second, Eisenberg is Jokeresque enough that those folks who were doubling down on Gotham’s Penguin actually being the Joker will get new hope for Joker-spottings, no doubt.
Terrible, terrible stuff that everyone will see because, well…movies, and what the hell else is going on in March?
As much as I enjoyed listening to Graham and Jeff’s take on the trailers and the shows, I fear that the sameness of the product is leading to a sameness of critical discourse. As Graham points out, you’re either on the Marvel Movie train or you’re not, and BvS looks like just another chance to adjudicate the validity of Snyder’s Superman. That having been said, BvS could be terrible enough, (or sufficiently weird), to generate a new conversation, but I won’t hold my breath. More likely, I’ll be getting hammered with hot takes on whatever Netflix show Marvel decides to roll out. Normally, none of this would matter to me, but it’s actually starting to impede on my ability to enjoy superhero comics. I used to have a Marvel Unlimited subscription, but all the extradiegetic information made it difficult for me to see these things as anything other than IP maintenance. This is only a small loss, (capes haven’t been a big part of my comics reading diet in a long time), but it stings. Anyway…. I’m rambling. Thanks as always for the great show!
It’s weird that you left out “Looks like a spooky psychedelic insect but tells jokes” when describing the essentials of Spider Man. It’s weird that all the crawling and athletics and webs (the part that even non-comic fans know) forms so little part of Graeme’s ideas about Spider-Man that he’d think Ms MArvel would scratch that same itch.